Thursday, May 23, 2013

May to Z: P & Q

Mind your Ps & Qs. Sorry, couldn't resist.
Interesting factoid: there are many suppositions about where this phrase came from. The one I think most plausible is that typesetters using old printing presses had to be very mindful of how they arranged the letters for print, since p and q are mirror images of each other.

Now that's out of the way, on to the P & Q......Hey! That would make a great name for a tavern! It could be short for Pints and Quarts, or it could be the initials of the owners.

Padraig, the Irish form of Patrick, dates even further back to a Latin derivation from Patricius, meaning "nobleman." Made famous by Saint Patrick who Christianized Ireland.

It would not be hard to weave the story of Saint Patrick's enslavement, mission, and canonization into a fantasy tale.

I believe I'll use it as an introduction for the lands to the west of the main world map. See it here.

Padraig is a fairly well known nobleman of Roseby. He is an explorer and intellectual that spends much of his fortune on educational pursuits. He is approached to fund a wild and risky sea voyage to see if there is anything to the west. The ship meets with misfortune and storms and other perils a la Odysseus - many stories of their own could spin off this.

Padraig is taken captive in the new lands, but his obvious stature as an educated and important (aka wealthy) man saves his life. He is taken into the court of a foreign ruler where he spends years learning and teaching and laying diplomatic foundations. He returns to Roseby decades later and brings envoys with him. This is what re-introduces sea worship. But when has a difference of religious opinion not caused wars and problems?

Padraig realizes that his house has fallen during the years and years he was away. He himself has nearly been forgotten, as most assumed he was lost at sea many years ago. He is so disheartened by the fact that much of his previous work and teachings have been dismissed, and crestfallen at what his return with new knowledge has done to his homeland and people, that he leaves again forever. He becomes an adopted pilgrim of the lands in the west.

************** that's a tricky one, as I expected it would be when I began this May to Z challenge. There aren't many names that start with Q. My wife triumphantly threw out the name Quendar (she even did these odd, tiny gladiatorial fists with it.) How adorably supportive : ) Yet, to me, Quendar sounds like an elf barbarian...and I just can't get my head around there being elf barbarians.

So it left me pondering: Quentin - derived from Queen Town, Quinn - from the Irish Conn, meaning "chief", Quintus - Latin for fifth/five, and Quinlan, coming from the Gaelic word for "slender".
Quinlan it is then. It fits nicely into my world. There is well-watered farming area called Longley or Longleigh - meaning "long field". The river that flows through the region is simply known as the Long River. I could easily surmise that the founder of this bountiful land was named Quinlan DeLong, son of a tall wandering ranger with the oh so original moniker, Long Walker. Quilan was the fifth son of this very slender and lithe family. It was he that first charted the miles and miles of the twisting, Long River.

And, as a bonus, it just so happens that immediately west of the Longley area is the collapsed tunnels and ruins of a once great dwarven unterholm. It was in fact the unterholm. The single greatest and richest kingdom in all dwarvendom. It was here that King Dain Richheart ruled over the entire Southern Sea, made powerful by his hold's rich veins of adamantite - the adamantium/mithril of my world. This exceedingly valuable metal was only found in the southwestern tip of the continent. I say "was" because there has not been an active adamantite mine in 1,000 years. Not since the Great Fall, a cataclysmic collapse that buried the entire kingdom and a resulting tsunami that scoured the once rich lumberyards of the ship-building Atilaens. It was this "crumbling downfall of the earth" that nearly wiped out the human race and buried a good portion of the dwarf race. This area is now known as the Quondam Kingdom - Latin for "former". The aforementioned Ironheart descendants of King Richheart only survived because many had already moved northward into the Richmont unterholm, where gold and silver are said to run like water. Had Oro and Oda not begun the tradition of seizing marriage profits, the Ironheart clan as we know it today likely would not exist at all. It is only through the surviving tales of distant relations that there has remained knowledge of the once great king and kingdom. Many adventures are now ready to take place in the ruins of the richest kingdom that once was.

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